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Roland C.IIa (late)

Wingnut Wings, 1/32 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

Wingnut Wings Kit No. 32041 - Roland C.IIa (late)

Scale:

1/32

Contents and Media:

330 parts in grey plastic; five parts in clear; markings for five options; high quality instruction booklet with reference photos.

Price:

USD$99.00 with free shipping worldwide, available online from Wingnut Wings' website.

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Fully formed plastic with excellent detail and no distortion; useful fret of photo etched parts; excellent fit thanks to clever engineering; decal sheet in perfect register with stencil data, placards and instrument faces; instruction booklet with an abundance of reference photos.

Disadvantages:

 

Conclusion:

Within days of releasing the Roland C.II, Wingnut Wings completed the fantasy with the modified C.IIa. As with its predecessor, it’s another quality package that captures all the graceful lines of the original. The detail is plentiful and well executed, with all the various subassemblies coming together with a minimum of fuss. Thanks to clever engineering from WNW and the aircraft’s uncomplicated design, it’s the perfect kit for those that haven’t tackled a two-seater before.

Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner


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Introduction

 

Few two-seaters are as elegant as the Roland C.II.

The “Walfisch” (Whale) resulted from the design engineers wanting to produce a much cleaned up airframe. The idea was to remove the need for conventional interplane and centre section struts, which along with its associated wire bracing, created a lot of unwanted drag.

 

 

Allied to this concept was the fuselage, whose radical departure from standard practices created one of the first semi-monocoque configurations. Narrow strips of thin three-ply were spirally wound around a skeleton of wooden formers and longerons. This was then covered with linen fabric and doped to create a “shell”.

 

 

The result was an aircraft that initially performed very well and was used in the bombing, artillery spotting, reconnaissance, and escort roles. Its high speed was an advantage but this was soon negated by better designs from both sides as the conflict moved into the early months of 1917.

 

 

FirstLook

 

After the much celebrated release of their Roland C.II, Wingnut Wings have followed up with the C.IIa.

Naturally there are quite a few differences between this and the previous boxing. The type’s strengthened wings are included and these accurately reflect the inboard movement of the “I” struts as well as the new timber batten trailing edges.

 

  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
  • Wingnut Wings 1/32 scale Roland C.IIa (Late) Review by Rob Baumgartner (Wingnut Wings 1/32): Image
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Another feature of the “late” version is the aileron control rods, which were routed through the top wings for a more positive response. Also included in the kit is an optional enlarged tail fin. This was seen on the last production batch of 40 Roland built aircraft in an effort to help improve manoeuvrability.

These items are contained on two new “H” and “I” sprues, as is the updated interior, roll-over cage, bomb rack and armament. This latter item necessitated an extra photo-etched machine gun jacket and so the original fret has been replaced to reflect this.

 

 

With 11 plastic sprues crammed into this release, the parts count is now up to a healthy 330. The large Cartograf decal sheet caters for 5 aircraft options, and of course we get the renowned instruction booklet with its enlightening reference photos.

 

 

As can be seen by the parts layout, a lot of thought has gone into designing this kit. The unavoidable ejection pin marks are not conspicuous on the finished model, and those that may give concern are almost flush with the surface of the plastic. The result is that they can easily be scrapped off with a sharp scalpel.

 

 

Another plus is the sprue attachment points. Where possible, these have been kept well away from any adjacent detail. Some of these are cleverly located on the mating surfaces which also helps the removal process. This can be seen on the exquisitely moulded fuselage halves.


 

Construction

Assembly begins with the interior which consists of nearly 40 parts. The aforementioned p-e makes its appearance in the form of lap belts for the pilot and observer. Another nice touch are the decals which not only detail the instrument faces, but also the grease pump, generator, starting magneto, and Telefunken wireless box.

There are just a few points that need mentioning to ensure a trouble-free assembly. Some stray plastic needs removing on the fuel tank before the filler stem (A57) can sit at the correct angle. I dry-fitted everything together before gluing this item to make sure it didn’t interfere with the portside fuselage window. The period photo of C.IIa 1666/16 on page 9 is a good indication of how it should look.

Make sure you install the bulkhead (A44) before fitting the cardboard tube for the wireless aerial (A34). Doing otherwise will not allow the frame to slide over the floor (B3) and into its locating slots. Also note that the instructions point you to using A36 for the instrument board…it should be I16.

 

 

Although not mentioned in the instructions, one can easily drill holes through the rudder cable pulleys (D17) thanks to a couple of conveniently placed dimples. This will simplify the rigging process and also make it look a lot more realistic. Don’t worry about filling the awkward seams found at the extremities of the auxiliary fuel tank (A24, A33). These are conveniently hidden against the fuselage halves.

 

 

The separate internal framework is a real work of art. To accomplish this complex design, numerous nodules had to be incorporated into the design to ensure the successful flow of plastic. These are simple enough to remove, as are the extremely shallow ejection pin marks. Once again, the latter disappears with a few scrapes of a sharp scalpel blade.

There were no problems at all when enclosing the complete assembly between the fuselage halves.

 

 

Sprue “E” makes a welcome return to allow the building of the 160hp Daimler-Mercedes D.III engine. Twenty one parts make up this gem and as before, everything aligns itself perfectly.

 

 

For reasons of economy, the different tail units have been moulded separately from the main fuselage. Fortunately the fit of this assembly is quite good although care is needed to make sure that the neighbouring raised lines remain consistent with others on the fuselage. I found that a “spreader bar” glued to the inside of the two halves was ideal for this purpose.

The aforementioned raised lines are indications of where adjacent pieces of the fabric covering overlapped. Study of period photographs reveals that these edges were not always in the same place. They are quite pronounced on the finished model and would benefit from a light swipe of wet ‘n dry paper.

Eagle-eyed modellers will also notice that the width if the upper tape on the tail assembly is slightly wider than that on the joined fuselage halves. Two solutions come to mind. One can sand off the wider tape on the tail and replace it, or insert a sliver of plastic into the area behind the observer’s position to match that found on the tail section.

The wings are beautifully engineered and feature the correct wooden trailing edges and rib detail of the C.IIa. There is no distortion at all on these large surfaces and the detail is sharp and consistent. Hefty tabs give these flying surfaces the strength they need to stay in place.

The windows are represented by clear parts that logically include the external frame. The fit is sublime and matches the fuselage perfectly. It is important not to mix up parts “C1” and “C2” as the subtle contours beneath the bulged observer’s opening ensure that the two are different.

The undercarriage and cowling go on without any fuss, although a smidgeon of filler is required for the upper wing tab cover (H10).

Depending on the option chosen, add the appropriate propeller, tailplane struts, rudder, gun ring and armament. The latter utilizes the remaining photo-etched items for the fretted jackets and gun sight. Careful annealing is recommended here as the metal does not always submit to the desired shape without kinking.

If your subject requires extra louvre panels, WNW supply these as well. Their bases are flat so a little rolling on a piece of rod will provide some curvature to match the fuselage surface. The white stress marks that result can be ignored.

Sprue “G” supplies a wealth of goodies including a selection of cameras, flare pistols, first aid kit, homing pigeon box, ladders, and the indispensable toy bear. As usual, there is plenty left over for other projects.

A rigging diagram indicates where everything should go and this is all confirmed by the predrilled holes in the relevant plastic parts.


 

Marking Options

The customary 5 aircraft are catered for on the well-appointed decal sheets.

 

 

Each subject is significantly different from the others so there should be a machine to suit all tastes. Everything was printed in perfect register and surrounded by a minimum of carrier film. Not only do we get the National and personal marking, we get a plethora of stencil data as well.

  1. Roland C.IIa, “white 7”, Kasta 2, Kagohl 1, late 1916 – early 1917

  2. Roland C.IIa (Li), “black III”, Vfw Hesse, Schusta 13, early 1917

  3. Roland C.IIa (Li) 3645/17, Hans Joachim von Hippel (1 victory), Beobachter Schule Cöln, early – mid 1917

  4. Roland C.IIa, “white 21”, Otto Bergermeister, Kasta 21, Kagohl IV, November - December 1916.

  5. Roland C.IIa, “circles”, Kagohl II ?, late 1916 - early 1917

The decals adhered well but I elected to use MicroSet and MicroSol for some of the more complex surfaces. They react well although I would stay away from any of the stronger solutions.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The initial WNW “Walfisch” made it obvious that this release would be part of their ever growing range. Now that it’s here, it doesn’t disappoint.

For those that haven’t tackled a 2-seater before, this is an ideal introduction. To ease construction, many complex structures have been presented as single items. The interior framework is a case in point, especially how it integrates with the flooring and bulkheads. To further entice the wary modeller, the type features a solid pair of “I” struts between the wings and sports a number of interesting colour schemes.

For the rest of us, it’s the eagerly awaited companion to their earlier Roland C.II.

Thanks to Wingnut Wings for the sample kit.

 

Review Text and Images Copyright 2014 by Rob Baumgartner
Page Created 24 September, 2014
Last updated 25 September, 2014

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